Here’s another in the series “Berowne’s Mediocre Adventures”
Tess Kincaid likes to travel, so this week instead of a quiz I thought I’d offer a travel suggestion to her or anyone else in our blogger community who enjoys travelling.
Enroll at Oxford! A perfect summer vacation; I did it myself.
Here’s Berowne at Oxford a few decades ago.
By the way, this is not some kind of annoying advertisement. I have no connection with Oxford and I don’t stand to make any money on the deal. It’s just that I found it a painless and unforgettable experience and thought others might too.
Now, you understand, you don’t enroll as an actual student. You just take summer classes. (I took Shakespeare.) For over 100 years the Oxford University Summer School for Adults program has been making it possible for everyone to take advantage of courses there.
The joys of summer. One of them is lying on a beach; another is the joy of pursuing your studies at a world-famous university.
I was at New College, Oxford. The hushed beauty of the campus calls attention to its name: “New,” though it was established in 1379.
Up on the wall in the dining hall is a portrait of the Reverend Spooner, Warden of New College for years. He is famous for “spoonerisms,” because he was prone to deliver talks that mixed up consonants and vowels in fairly hilarious arrangements.
Examples: “The Lord is a shoving leopard.” “Is it kisstomary to cuss the bride?” The word spoonerism has lasted right up to our time: “Resident Pagan.”
Having spent a summer there, your reputation as a name-dropper is greatly increased. In the future while engaged in any conversation, on almost any topic, you’ll be able to casually toss off the phrase “When I was at Oxford…” thus getting everyone’s undivided attention. J